It happens every fall: beautiful pumpkins carved and going to waste. It’s super great to celebrate tradition, but afterwards it’s even better to cook down that pumpkin into super yummy pumpkin purée! Then it can be used in recipes like this one, where the spices perfectly complement the heartiness of the pumpkin.

This cake recipe was originally posted on my vegan blog in 2012 after a friend had sent me home from a baby shower with several open jars of baby food. I had to figure out what to do with a bunch of fruit and vegetable purée, so I designed this moist and delicious spice cake that is pretty much as flexible as you are!

In my experience, you will taste the purée a little in this recipe. So, for example, if you don’t like beets, you won’t like this recipe with beet purée. Make sense?

With that caveat, you can use practically any fruit or vegetable purée in this recipe and have fairly predictable results. I’ve used pear, banana, carrot, apple, squash, sweet potato, various berries, mushy green peas and more. I’d recommend staying away from starchy things like potatoes and corn, as they’re more of a carbohydrate/starch and don’t really behave like true fruits and veggies (think carrots, zucchini, apples, peaches, etc.). But other than that, I encourage you to give it a shot!

Here’s the recipe, ready for you to customize!


Vegan spice cake with brown sugar icing

Makes 1 (9″ round) cake

For the cake: 
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup golden cane sugar
1 Tablespoon rum
1 egg (or vegan substitute)
1 cup fruit or vegetable puree
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the icing:
1/3 cup butter (or vegan substitute)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk (or vegan substitute)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9″ round cake pan or springform pan and dust with flour to prevent sticking.

In the large mixer bowl, beat together shortening, sugar and rum. In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed and water with a whisk until starting to look a little thick. Add to sugar mixture and beat for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture starts to look a little fluffy. Beat in fruit purée, and then add dry ingredients and beat just until all the flour is mixed in. Turn into your prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan, and then let cool completely.

To make the icing, beat together all ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Spread over the cake and serve.


For me, applesauce and pumpkin are always coming out my ears in the Fall! What fruit or vegetable purée do you always find yourself with too much of?

If you like this, you'll love this *FREE* guide!
"How to Reduce Food Waste at Home and Save Money"
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